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Science and Tech

Why big corporations love Net Neutrality

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Steven Crowder is not arguing for or against Net Neutrality; however he is posing a question. Why is there selective outrage against evil corporations? Facebook, Google, and Twitter love Net Neutrality however they are all just as bad as the ISPs everyone is calling evil. In fact while Net Neutrality sets regulations for ISP’s treatment of data, these giants are free to throttle data as they see fit. I believe Steven Crowder is presenting a perspective that gets us one step closer to finding a real solution to pressing internet concerns.

People assume that critiquing Net Neutrality is inherently in favor of corporate data throttling and slower internet, but it’s not the case. Net Neutrality has its positives, but doesn’t protect the free internet like people suggest. Under Net Neutrality, the large tech giants have done more censorship and data throttling of content than any ISP ever did before. People need to hear both sides of an issue. Net Neutrality is an issue where both sides are making reasonable arguments(which is becoming rare). So actually discuss it and not panic like all these liberals are doing on Twitter.

Culture and Religion

Ken Ham on how science confirms the Bible

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Ken Ham on how science confirms the Bible

One of my biggest pet peeves is the attempt by atheists to use “science” to disprove the Bible. It’s unfortunate on many levels, not the least of which being Pascal’s Wager, but the strangest part is how much of science must be ignored in order to make the claim a Biblical worldview runs counter to modern science.

Some may object to this topic being part of mostly political news site, but it’s been more widely covered in recent years by liberal sites attempting to paint the Biblical worldview in a negative light, so it’s good to give equal time to the counterarguments.

There are better videos than Ken Ham’s discussion on the topic, but few are more easily understood. It’s well worth the hour.

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Opinions

I don’t like Alex Jones, but his social media ousters bode ill for all Americans

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I dont like Alex Jones but his social media ousters bode ill for all Americans

Alex Jones is outrageous. He’s been classified as a conservative, a conspiracy theorist, and a racist. I see him more as a loony shock jock, an entertainer who has found an untapped niche and taken full advantage of it to promote himself and his operations. I’ll explain why he’s not what people think he is, but first let’s address the elephant in the room: his removal from prominent social media sites.

I’m the first person to say any site has the right to remove or promote any user of their site for any reason they choose. People like to claim “free speech” when they see censorship of their favorite personalities on sites like Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, but it has nothing to do with free speech. The 1st Amendment protects us from an oppressive government. How private businesses operate is up to them as long as they stay within our laws.

My concern is the road upon which these social media sites are taking modern society. This road of “community etiquette” is one that draws us towards a not-so-distant destination where many would not willingly go if they saw it coming. Perhaps 1984 exemplified it best with the government’s control of information. One could ironically note it was in information war and the truth lost out in 1984. We’re heading towards a similar fate.

The dystopian society George Orwell envisioned relied on a willing populace. It’s hard to imagine Americans giving up so many of their freedoms directly through government decree, but it’s easier to imagine one driven by cultural phenomena. Our always-connected society of mobile devices combined with our group approval desires through social media are the types of phenomena required to coax us to give up our freedoms willingly. It’s a conspiracy theory that I’ll share shortly.

An unexpected good guy in the whole Alex Jones mess is Twitter. They have not banned him and even explained why they haven’t. He hasn’t broken any of their rules.

Twitter CEO says Infowars’ Alex Jones not banned because ‘he hasn’t violated our rules’

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/twitter-ceo-says-infowars-alex-jones-not-banned-because-he-n898616“We know that’s hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules,” Dorsey tweeted. “We’ll enforce if he does. And we’ll continue to promote a healthy conversational environment by ensuring tweets aren’t artificially amplified.”

He added that the company is holding Jones to the same standard as every other user rather than “taking one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term, and adding fuel to new conspiracy theories.”

It’s a rare case of consistency superseding the common leftist desire to inflict social justice on all who oppose them. Unfortunately, Dorsey’s last comment about adding fuel to conspiracy theories tarnishes his actions a bit.

What Alex Jones is

On the surface, Jones is a patriotic Libertarian-minded blowhard who has some crazy ideas intermingled with some slightly less crazy ones. His fans say he exposes what he exposes to make America better and to protect us from the evil overlords in the Illuminati or lizard people or New World Order or whoever. There may be a little bit of truth in this, but only a little.

The more prominent reality of Alex Jones is that he’s an eyeball hound like so many other entertainers. What he says and how it’s received is less important to him than how many people hear him. We know this because he heavily promotes an image of barely-restrained insanity. He publicizes outbursts that do not help him in a quest to save America but that do get people interested in seeing his next batch of silliness.

He takes it too far because it’s the best way to get lovers and haters to continue loving and hating him. More controversy equates to more eyeballs.

He’s an entertainer. Think Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern combined with a willingness to explore the most outrageous topics.

It’s important to understand this aspect of his nature because he taints everyone he allegedly represents. His unwavering support of Donald Trump is conspicuously unaligned with his allegedly conservative values. His promotion of crazy conspiracy theories buries the rational conspiracy theories in a heap of insanity. There really are conspiracies afoot, but people like Jones make it harder to find the truth.

As for being a racist, I’ve seen enough of him to believe that it’s false but I haven’t seen everything so it’s possible.

Whatever it takes to get eyeballs, line his pockets, and secure his place in his “New Atlantis” is all that Jones is about.

Now for the conspiracy theory

All of this bodes ill for Americans. The government has exerted more and more control over our lives and most on the left welcome it. But what about those on the right? How do you get them to put aside freedoms? By letting companies like Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and YouTube take away the things we crave.

We’re seeing attacks on conservatism, Libertarianism, and federalism on nearly every platform on the internet. This has been well publicized and scorned by right-leaning users of these sites. What can we do? Can we boycott? Many have, but that doesn’t help. If anything, removing anti-socialist opinions from these sites helps them achieve their goals.

Eventually, we will see an outcry for someone to step in and prevent the censorship. Who will be called upon? Yes, Washington DC. It won’t be the left but the right that prompts actions against Silicon Valley’s inherent liberalism. Many will believe this is a good thing because it provides equal footing for all opinions… at least that’s how it will be described. That’s not what will end up happening in the long-run.

The natural progression of anything that DC sticks its fingers into is state control. Mandates become regulations. Regulations become laws. Laws become oversight. Oversight becomes control.

If we continue down this road, social media and mobile communication will both be so heavily embedded with government meddling that they will be state-run industries. They will “protect” us from Russia, Alex Jones, hate speech, anonymous trolls, offensive images, and anything else they deem inappropriate.

In the end, it will not be the government that takes control of social media and mobile networks. It will be the people who will give them control.

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News

How the internet will fall, step one: Remove anonymity

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How the internet will fall step one Remove anonymity

Should I have the right to spread “disinformation” on the internet? Some would say I do not. Thankfully, I have no intention of ever knowingly doing such a thing, but knowing that I can is part of what makes the internet what it is. More importantly, the anonymity the internet provides is one of the cornerstones for its usefulness in modern society.

If a leaked memo last week is any indicator of what’s to come, then my anonymity may no longer be sacred online.

Senate Democrats Are Circulating Plans for Government Takeover of the Internet

https://reason.com/blog/2018/07/31/democrats-tech-policy-plans-leakedHere’s how Warner is suggesting we deal:

Mandatory location verification. The paper suggests forcing social media platforms to authenticate and disclose the geographic origin of all user accounts or posts.

Mandatory identity verification: The paper suggests forcing social media and tech platforms to authenticate user identities and only allow “authentic” accounts (“inauthentic accounts not only pose threats to our democratic process…but undermine the integrity of digital markets”), with “failure to appropriately address inauthentic account activity” punishable as “a violation of both SEC disclosure rules and/or Section 5 of the [Federal Trade Commission] Act.”

Bot labeling: Warner’s paper suggests forcing companies to somehow label bots or be penalized (no word from Warner on how this is remotely feasible)

Define popular tech as “essential facilities.” These would be subject to all sorts of heightened rules and controls, says the paper, offering Google Maps as an example of the kinds of apps or platforms that might count. “The law would not mandate that a dominant provider offer the serve for free,” writes Warner. “Rather, it would be required to offer it on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms” provided by the government.

Considering how bad the likely interference by Russian operatives through social media really was, it’s easy to see why many would embrace these measures. Nobody wants foreign entities swaying our elections, but what cost are we willing to pay to be protected?

This is a clear example of DC once again attempting to overstep its own powers. We do not need them telling private internet companies what to do and how to handle their members. If Facebook wants to implement these types of measures, so be it. As long as they’re doing so willingly, it’s fine. However, the government does not need to step in. They do not need to “protect” us from our own stupidity.

If I fall for a hoax article claiming President Trump urinated on Russian prostitutes, that’s on me.

Anonymity sucks, but it’s important

To be fair, I have been victim to anonymous trolls on the internet. It bugs me that they can say what they want about or towards me while hiding behind the moniker braveliberal1949, but I would never condone taking his/her right to troll me. They have their reasons for being anonymous and I will fight for their right to remain hidden behind their online persona.

Some would point to Russian interference as a reason to support attacks on our online privacy. It sucks that they can have teams of meat puppets out there trying to mislead as many people as possible. But that’s part of the game. It’s a tactic in the online war we all fight wittingly or not, one that requires diligence but NOT government interference. If they want to help expose foreign actors, that’s on them. They should not use Russia or anyone else as a reason to take away our digital rights just as they shouldn’t have used 9/11 as a reason to take away our other freedoms.

It’s a pretty crazy world online. There’s plenty of bad ideas, false concepts, fake news, and actors intent on hurting us. We have to deal with them. The government cannot provide us with a solution that won’t do more harm than good.

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